Friday, August 14, 2015

In Which a Busy-Body Calls the Police on Me

This is mostly to document a strange incident that happened today....

Usually I leave the house sometime after 1:30 to go pick up HB from school.  He gets out of school at 2pm.  The school doesn't have busing for our neighborhood.  They actually encourage children to walk or bicycle or scooter to school. It's in the school's newsletter.  It's pretty normal to see parents walking to pick their children up from school and I've also seen children walking back home.  I live across the street (practically) so I just walk.  I carry my children in a red radio flyer wagon.

Knee was with me.  He was sitting in the wagon.  We were about half way to the school's front entrance when a small compact dark green car pulls over.  I'm thinking that this person is just asking for directions.  So when the window rolls down I just stop.

The lady in the car (she looks like she's a brunette) asks me if I know what the temperature outside is.  I'm a little puzzled by the question and she cuts in and tells me that it's 110F.  I realize that it's hot outside, but okay.  Then she asks me about the wagon.  What's it made out of?  Is it plastic?  Freaked out by her strange line of questioning, I start walking away while saying yes.  I kept walking.

We have a cross walk to the school and I watched her make a U-turn and go in the opposite direction.  I walked up to the school's over hang and sat down with Knee.  We had water with us (I always carry water) and so we drank and cooled off.  A few minutes later a sheriff's cruiser pulled up.

My initial thought was "okay, what is going on.  That lady is starting to freak me out."  He asks me about the incident so I relay it to him.  Then he tells me that he got a call that some lady with a red wagon was "beating on her kid."  Flat out lie.  I don't even think I was talking to Knee who sitting quietly in the wagon when she pulled up.  I tell him no nothing like that happened.  He asked me if I was walking up to the school to pick up an older child.  Yes, yes, I was.  He asked me if I lived close by.  Yes, yes I do.  Then he asked me to write down my name, a phone number, my date of birth, and Knee's name.  So I did.  Then he left.

Hopefully nothing comes of this.  I was doing absolutely nothing wrong.  I'm not sure why this woman lied.  Yes, it is hot.  But it's perfectly legal for a parent to push a child in a stroller or a wagon to a bus stop or any other destination.  It's also perfectly legal for a child to walk home from school on their own or with their parent.  I wasn't disciplining Knee in any way.  I have no idea why she would think I was beating on him or anything like that.  The most she might have seen was me opening up the water bottle for him so he could drink it.  Or perhaps me talking to him because he was so excited to be holding a couple of quarters in his hand.  He sat in the wagon the whole trip but occasionally he likes to get out and walk too.  The wagon is stored in the car port of my home out of direct sun light so it doesn't get very hot.  

I'm just baffled.

Update: Just for evidential purposes, according to Bing maps, the walk from my house to the school is .4 miles and takes 7 minutes to walk.  This is if I don't take any short cuts through the school's playground.

Update: Actually the above in incorrect (apparently I needed to put in the actual address because using just the school's name put in another part of the neighborhood.  I looked at the map more closely).  It's only .3 miles and a 5 minute walk.  It's slightly longer if we're going to the front door and shorter if we're going through the playground.  You can see the school's playground from my backyard, but I have to exit my neighborhood before crossing the street.  Needless to say it's between a quarter to a half a mile walk.  Not a big deal at all.

1 comment:

  1. That's insane.

    I have a feeling that she lied because it would sound completely and totally ridiculous to say "I'm calling 911 because there's a woman walking with her toddler in a red wagon." But apparently that didn't tip her off to the absurdity of her call.

    I'm sorry that happened.


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